The Future of Search

Search advertising options have been limited and stagnant for years, as Google has dominated the market. But times may be changing, and marketers may see more options in the future.

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Why Nostalgia May Be the Answer to B2B Conversions


We grew up too fast, didn’t we?

I still remember the days when I asked my mother why the hyenas were willing to work for Scar. Also, I will never forget Arthur’s reggae song with the character walking down the sidewalk.

A journey into the past, whether in the form of a cherished cartoon, an old box-office hit, or even a retro image, has the ability to make us stop dead in our tracks and smile.

Like our future, we give regular attention to our past, the days that served us well. And it’s little surprise that the allure of good old memories is stronger now than ever in an era filled with mounting dread.

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Leveraging Instagram to Boost Your B2B Brand

Leverage Instagram for B2B

Consider: 600 million monthly users, 300 million daily users, and 1.5 businesses worldwide. What do all these numbers reference? Instagram. In 2016. Instagram was used by 48.8% of brands – a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017.

Selfies, food images, and more flood Instagram news feeds daily. In this Millennial-driven world, Instagram would lend itself more to B2C brands, wouldn’t it? You’re not wrong, it does. According to Instagram, some of the industries that have found early success using its ads include “e-commerce, travel, entertainment, and retail.” But does that mean that B2B businesses can’t leverage Instagram? Absolutely not!

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Digital Marketing trends in 2017

Digital Marketing

These Digital Marketing trends are expected to rule to 2017. Which ones will you be following? 

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Pro Tip: Not Every Consumer Speaks English. Let’s Talk Multicultural.

No matter if you want to build a wall or tear it down, there will always be a language barrier for some here in America. Facebook wants to help you cost effectively break down that barrier by offering tons of language features.

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RIP Banner Ad?

banner ad

Amongst a digital marketing world where companies are constantly trying to outdo each other and advertise in the newest and greatest way, the banner ad seems to be dying. There’s a reason why the term “banner blindness” is around. Soon, it’s expected to lay alongside the popup ads in the digital-marketing graveyard.

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In-Store Video Advertising Now On Refrigerator Doors

In-store advertising has been used for years. Even video advertising has been used in stores before…but, not like this. Now, stores are able to use in-store video ads on refrigerator doors.

While being tasted at grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores, these video ads proved to be a success. Over the 11 weeks, stores saw a 13% increase in traffic to cooler doors with a 4% increase in sales of products from coolers with video ads. Additionally, they saw a 19% increase in sales of promoted fountain drinks. This success is driven mostly by the “wow” factor as many people have never seen anything similar.

Being sold at a reasonable price, companies are able to invest in this technology or brands can foot the bill to get their video ad running in store.

In-store advertising is going to a whole new level


Digital Advertising Is More Than The Internet

When people think “digital marketing” they think the internet. Ads, websites, and social media is all the digital advertising there is right? Wrong. Many companies use digital billboards or digital flyers to promote their brand. Burger King is one of these companies. For their most recent campaign, they are asking consumers to take selfies of themselves eating whoppers. These pictures are then used on digital billboards around the world in cities without a Burger King location with a message along the lines of “too bad this can’t be you.”

Will this digital taunting be enough to get more cities to add Burger King locations?


Nine Digital Marketing Stats From The Past Week

Marketing is always changing, so is digital marketing. Sometimes it’s changing so quickly that trends and statistics are different just week to week. Here are 9 amazing statistics from the digital marketing world from the past week.

  • Facebook users are posting fewer statuses and less original content. In fact, 66 percent of Facebook user didn’t post a single status over a three-month period. This is dangerous to Facebook because without original content, how does the platform plan to continue?
  • The number of social networks that Facebook users are active on has increased to 4.3.
  • 30 percent of clients and 27 percent of suppliers believe that “consumer-specific data collected passively” will be the most important source of data for insights creation two years from now. This includes cookies on a consumer’s computer to capture their browsing history.
  • Facebook may have the largest worldwide membership, but it is not first in visitation. This is held by YouTube.
  • 58 percent of Gen Y consumers consider themselves addicted to their smartphones.
  • “Mobile Internet” stocks were down 15 percent during the third quarter.
  • By 2016, 39.5 million US adults will have worn wearables, including smartwatches and fitness trackers. This is expected to more than double by 2018.
  • 41 percent of survey respondents say that it takes anywhere from 1 to 4 digital product reviews before they will buy a product.
  • Facebook has released its new promo unit Slideshow in Kenya and Nigeria. The ad unit uses photo slideshows designed for slower internet connections and to use less data than video. These are likely to be popular in African countries. Coca Cola has tested it and, in just two weeks, reached 2 million consumers and increased brand awareness by 10 points.

Let’s see what next week has in store.


The Step by Step Guide for Setting up Advanced Digital Marketing Channel Tests

All Campaigns are Not Created Equal

Thomas Jefferson’s infamous speech does not apply to digital marketing campaigns, unfortunately… Earlier in April, I published a blog about why channel tests were more worthwhile for SMBs on a tight marketing budget. I want to take this line of thinking a step further for SMBs that actually have more marketing dollars to work with. For those who are well versed in digital marketing, you’ll understand that there’s a difference in setting up a targeted Facebook ad campaign to increase attendance to an event compared to setting up a campaign (regardless of channel) with a custom landing page, form, goal conversion, and an automated lead nurture campaign. The former is not nearly as time consuming and doesn’t require the amount of planning as the latter. I digress. You’ll understand why I’m saying this as you continue reading…

Step 1: Select Your Channels

For the purpose of this blog, let’s assume we have a B2B company with a monthly ad budget of $1,800. In the past, the budget has been split three ways between Facebook, LinkedIn and AdWords PPC. Each channel has a different purpose: for Facebook and LinkedIn, the goal has to been build a targeted audience, increase engagement and drive traffic to the company’s website. For PPC, the goal has been to drive leads. While you’re planning next month’s strategy, you decide you want to change things up and do lead generation channel tests using the same channels.

Step 2: Allocate the Budget

Once you’ve decided on the channels and are set on a strategy, create a budget plan and decide where the money is going to be invested. Here’s an example of what that would look like:

  • AdWords PPC: $1,000
  • Facebook Ads: $500
  • LinkedIn Sponsored Ads: $300

Typically when running channel tests it’s best to allocate equal amounts of money. The PPC budget will always be highest because it’s the best strategy when converting low funnel leads. You don’t want to take away from that and risk decreasing quality scores and ad rank. Facebook is higher than LinkedIn because it’s always wise to run a monthly Like campaign. Therefore, $200 of that will be allocated to that separate campaign and equal funds will be allocated to the actual lead generation test you’ll be running.

Click here to sign up for a free, no hassle Facebook ads consultation.

Step 3: The Busy Work

This step is by far the most time consuming but once it’s complete, the rest is (relatively) smooth sailing. For the past six months, you’ve been using two custom landing pages which were designed on WordPress for the PPC campaigns. The two landing pages focus on two different services the company offers. The extensive keyword and competitive research has been done as well as the original creation of the landing pages which have been generating leads on PPC to the tune of 3-5 per month. This is when the workload gets busy: because we are running the same lead generation test utilizing the same landing pages, you’ll need to create Facebook and LinkedIn versions of the landings pages so we can segment the traffic and understand where the leads are coming from. You’ll also need to create separate lead generation forms and thank you pages. Here’s how you do it:

  • Take the first (service) PPC landing page and open it in its own tab on your internet browser
  • Add a new page to your website and open it in a separate tab, as well, on a different screen (assuming you have dual monitors)
  • Literally take everything from the PPC landing page and do the exact same thing to the new page – with the exception of the URL
  • Busy work overload.

  • While you’re doing that, you’ll also need to create a new form to collect leads. Once complete, take that form ID and embed into the new page
  • The new form must also redirect to a unique thank you page. Same as the previous steps, take the PPC thank you page and duplicate the content with the exception of the URL
  • Access the company’s Google Analytics account and create a conversion goal using that unique thank you page (very important!)
  • Once the new page is set up with its own unique form and thank you page, you’re ready to publish
  • Rinse and repeat and do it all over again for the second (service) landing page and then do THAT all over again so you have a total of four separate landing pages, forms, thank you pages, and goal conversions

Just so you can understand the time investment, it took me about three hours to do something very similar to this. In my opinion, it’s well worth it because the end result is to be able to effectively gauge how well channels perform when using the exact same content. It’s a very powerful thing to be able to go back to the company at the end of the month and say, “Well, we’re seeing that LinkedIn generated 3x as many leads as Facebook. So next month, we’re going to allocate more money to that channel because we know it has a higher success rate.”

Step 4: Deciding on Creative

The PPC campaign is already set up because, as previously mentioned, its been running for six months with good success. Also, there’s not a whole lot of creative to consider beyond ad copy. Selecting the right keywords is the most crucial element of any PPC campaign and this process itself can be very cumbersome with in-depth research and analysis.

With Facebook, you’ll be running two website click ads where you get to choose custom images and ad copy. Additionally, you’ll target the ads to show up only on newsfeeds of people within your target audience.

On LinkedIn, it’s set up a little differently. The only ad option is a sponsored update and you don’t get to select a custom image. The image that populates will be associated with the landing page itself. You do get to customize the post message and target the post to display only on the newsfeeds of your target audience.

All three channels offer unique ways to target the right audience. The one consistency all three have is geo-targeting. We’ll talk more about the sophistication of ad targeting between social channels in later blogs on StrataBlue!

Step 5: Flipping the Switch

The moment of gratification has arrived. All of the planning, creating and executing has now lead you to the point at which you turn the campaigns on. I don’t believe I mentioned this earlier but the dollar amount assigned to each ad is $150. Two website click ads on Facebook with a monthly budget of $150 a piece and two sponsored updates on LinkedIn both with $150 each. This leaves nothing to question is regards to showing ROAS (return on ad spend) at the end of the month.

Step 6: Monitoring Campaigns and Analyzing and Reporting Results

It’s important to monitor the campaigns weekly to report back to the company to keep them in the loop on performance. At the end of the month once the campaigns have ended, the truth will be found in numbers. Your data sources will be Facebook Insights, LinkedIn, Google Analytics and AdWords. Inform the company which campaign performed the best based on lead generation and advise on next steps.

Want to continue the conversation? Let’s meet for coffee.

I’ve always found that the best conversations happen over a nice, hot cup of fresh brewed coffee. If channel testing is something you’d like to learn more about or do for your company, let’ talk! Either call us at 317-207-0195, email us at [email protected], or click the button below to fill our a brief form to contact us online! We look forward to hearing from you.

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